COVID-19 Peak Day: April 17, 2020

RALEIGH – Today is the day that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected to be the peak resource use in North Carolina as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. A few weeks ago, charts and models pointed to April 17 as the day North Carolina hospitals would be overrun, even with social distancing orders, like a statewide Stay-at-Home order, in place.

Fast forward. The status of the COVID-19 outbreak in North Carolina is at or near its peak:

The worst of the worst days of the COVID-19 epidemic for North Carolina…leaves plenty of hospital capacity.

That is a bed shortage is ZERO. Hospital capacities are in normal ranges.

Yet, the models still provide authorities with some visual aids to use while argue for extended lockdowns:

The Red line is actual deaths attributed to COVID-19 in North Carolina. Notice how it has dropped to the flat line in recent days. Further notice the projected spike and super-spike of uncertainty from this point forward. More than 100 deaths a day?! This is exactly the kind of projection state officials would point to as justification for extending shutdown policies.

Yet, here we are at the expected peak, noticing how all the previous models were wrong.

However, even the projected total death for our state through the summer isn’t quite as alarming. IHME projects just over 400 deaths attributed to COVID-19 by August, but project that peak will be within view by May 1.

The governor is currently considering whether or not to extend the Stay-at-Home order through the month of May.

Meanwhile, well over 500,000 people have filed for unemployment in our state. Business owners from Murphy to Manteo are wondering if they can make it to the end of the month under the current shutdown policies, let alone until the end of May.

Today is Peak Day in North Carolina, but the real summit ahead may just be the critical mass of people beginning to wonder if the cure was indeed worse than the disease.

You can see more projections and current numbers from IHME, for North Carolina and elsewhere, here.

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